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Thread: Essex techniques

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    4

    Default Essex techniques

    Are there any builders out there, not in Essex MA, who use or have used the methods and techniques developed in the Essex yards over their 300 years of history? When building BERTIE single handed I needed to cut time and labor to the bone if she was to be built in less than a lifetime, so used the photos in Dana Story's wonderful books to educate myself. Much of this stuff seems to violate other building traditions, yet gives a solid and long lasting little ship. I have often wondered if others have done the same.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Essex techniques

    That is fairly universal for any sawn framed hull.
    https://vimeo.com/94950848
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Essex techniques

    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,078

    Default Re: Essex techniques

    I'm not certain from your photo the methodology you think is contrary to boat building norms. However the approach a professional builder uses to complete a boat might differ from an highly skilled amateur. One is trying to make money, the other an object of infatuation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    4

    Default Re: Essex techniques

    At Essex all vessels were built in the open, winter or summer, on the ground, which in this case consisted of a six foot depth of adze and axe chips after 300+ years of building in the same spots. BERTIE was built outside in a crumbling shipyard where 100+ ww2 ships were born in three years, 1942-45. The Essex short cuts developed basically consist of: No back rabbet, frame and floor in one ('long and short floors' they called it, as opposed to 'bridge floors'), A-frame stem support that forms the scaffold supports, no ribbands seem to have been used, just short lengths of scrap keeping each succeeding frame in place during assembly. Other than these the construction was pretty normal. I was just wondering if other builders had used these quirks. I found the A-frame greatly assisted getting the stem set up easily and keeping it rigid while the long and short floor approach with no back rabbet allowed me to single handedly pattern, saw, assemble and set up and fasten to the keel one sawn frame a day building a 23 ton boat. After 34 years of use the construction seems to work well and the bilge stays dry. We are now in Huatulco MX headed to the Galapagos and have sailed about 40,000 miles.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
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    9,218

    Default Re: Essex techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by BATAAN View Post
    When building BERTIE single handed I needed to cut time and labor to the bone if she was to be built in less than a lifetime,
    You have seen Wizzbangs thread on building a strip plank Venus 36?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Essex techniques

    Hi,

    We've built out in the open, and if I was doing it again I'd probably get a roof over my head. The sunshine can be punishing to work under in the summer months.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    1,770

    Default Re: Essex techniques

    I'd like to see more of your boat if you have any photos. Cruising a wooden boat you built yourself is living the dream.

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